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First off, a simple question. Have you ever been attacked by Thargoids after a failed warp jump ?
Yes: welcome commander
No: shame on you
If you want to know what I mean, you're gonna have to play to find out.
Space combat and interplanetary trading are your fair in this. Buy at one planet, pick your destination, warp jump and try to make a profit selling on your goods. Then you've got pirates trying to kill you and steal your cargo, and other traders you can rescue from pirates. Or you can turn pirate yourself, and prey on the traders, though expect the local planetary police to be after you then. Unlike Elite 2&3 there are no other ships to buy, but you still have ship upgrades to spend your hard earned credits on.
I personally played Elite on an Archimedes system, the gfx are better than the PC versions, and I think this was the last conversion made.

Back in the days... I used to spend all my spare time playing it, and I mean ALL. It has soaked up months of my time playing it over the years. But compared to todays games the gameplay is somewhat more repetitive, but its still worth a blast even now.

There are several special missions available as you gain combat ranking, some triggered by your ranking, and some by visiting a particular planet. This helps to keep interest, as these offer some ship upgrades not otherwise available. But once you've completed the few missions, there is little to maintain that long term interest needed to gain your legendary Elite combat ranking.

Its a genre producing classic, I cant really say if its exactly the first game to do it, but it seems that way to me. While the spaceships and aliens stuff isn't anything new of course, the way its all put together is what makes it its own gaming sub genre now. There have been several attempts to update the Elite game theme over the years, but none of them have had for me the shear playability of this originator.

Lets be honest, its a drug. When I think about it now, I feel what I think religious zealots must feel, like a religious fervour. Whenever I play my blue_danube.mid it brings me over all misty eyed, even though that is actually from Frontier ;\

Reviewed by deepcut

Developer: BBC - David Braben and Ian Bell
PC - RealTime
Archimedes - Warren Burch and Clive Gringras
Archimedes - Hybrid
Year: BBC Micro - 1984
PC - 1987
Archimedes - 1991
Downloads: Elite (50 kB)
Elite Plus (242 kB)
Elite Gold (312 kB) for Archimedes emulator
Buy link: -
Covers: BBC Elite Cover
Docs: Elite Manual
Elite Codes and Keys
Extras: Elite Plus Music
Frontier Music
Related links: Frontier Developments
The Elite Club
Ian Bell's Elite pages
Acorn Elite Screenshot 1

Acorn Elite Screenshot 2

Elite Plus Screenshot 1

Elite Plus Screenshot 2